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2019 Mercedes Cup...ATP 250...Stuttgart, Germany

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  • 2019 Mercedes Cup...ATP 250...Stuttgart, Germany

    Did I ever tell you about the time I was in Stuttgart, Germany? Yes...it was in 1989 in October as I remember. The Berlin Wall was going to come down the next month and Mikael Gorbachov was in Berlin overseeing the events that month. Europe was on fire...it was a new beginning. The Cold War was over. So what happened? Same old...same old. They started the new fireworks in the Middle East almost as soon as the bricks were done tumbling down from the wall being torn down. It's human nature...don't worry. Everything is going to be alright. Trust me.

    But that being said Stuttgart is the home of Mercedes Benz. I learned that when I was in some rather down to the earth pub where the common folks were drinking some ale. I wasn't drinking myself...someone had to be sober. I think we had something to eat as we watched the people...the Germans. They were all Germans too. This was before the "New Europe"...the European Union they are calling it. It is all so Orwellian. Oceania, Eurasia and Eastasia.

    But nevertheless Alexander Zverev is playing the number one seed as opposed to Stefanos Tsitsipas in that other tournament that I started a thread about above. I cannot remember the name now. I only know that Tsitsipas is the top seed. Alexander has quite a different road to hoe here in Stuttgart. Being German himself you would think that it would give him the added incentive to do something dramatic. Well he is about to like it or not. He plays fellow German "Downtown" Dustin Brown in the first round. Actually the second. "Downtown" is in the second round as a qualifier after defeating a very legitimate John Millman who is currently ranked #56 in the world compared to "Downtown's" #176.

    Felix Auger-Aliassime is also in the draw and Denis "The Menace" Shapovalov was in it. The difference being that Felix won his first round and Denis didn't. Oh well...the developmental curve. You know how that goes. You go up like a meteor only to get shot down at your zenith. Or any number of things can happen. Just ask Alexander Zverev who is my poster boy for "developmental" difficulties. Head games that success brings to you. It's a lot like having the yips in golf. You twitch at the wrong time and never can fully understand why. You overthink. You analyse. You train. Nothing seems to cure it. Just relax...everything is going to be alright. Just remember don_budge told you so.

    By the way, should young Alexander get by "Downtown" every player will pose a threat to him. You see...that is the difference between him and Stefanos Tsitsipas. Stefanos only sees the opportunities...the possibilities. Unfortunately Alexander is seeing what can go wrong. He needs a change of perspective. That will come when he bottoms out and finds himself looking up from the bottom instead of from the top. This will either make him or break him. He did show some fight over there in Paris...but unfortunately he also showed that he is incapable of getting the job done efficiently. Which is another hallmark of a great champion.

    By the way...all of this just leads up to Wimbledon.


  • #2
    The other first seed took a nose dive in Stuttgart as well.


    What can you say about "Downtown" Dustin Brown except you gotta love him? Watch this dude making his way to the net with what appears to be a 15 pound bag of hair on his head. Nothing short of spectacular. Grass court tennis. It seems strange to see a guy using these sort of tactics. While "Downtown" is a touch unconventional he really hammers a point I have been making for the entire time that I have been on this forum. Roger Federer should take note of this and keep it short and sweet at Wimbledon. At one point Dustin Brown had played 39% of his shots from the net.

    What can you say about Alexander Zverev? "Sasha" is looking really sad and I wonder how long Ivan Lendl will stay in his corner. Zverev sees all the difficulties...not the possibilities. I watched a good part of this match into the third set. Was not surprised to see Brown win this.


    • #3
      99 Luftballoons...14 Lead Balloons in Zverev's case


      Fourteen double faults. Fourteen lead second serves. We talked a bit about this in the 2019 French Open thread. His service does not evoke confidence. No it doesn't stroke...he lost his confidence again yesterday. My golf coach (I hired one) told me that same thing as we were working out of the bunker. Then lobbing pitch shots high over the bunker and softly on the green. "It's all about confidence," he said. "Trust". I couldn't agree with him more and you know me. I never agree or disagree. Just don't tell him that I said so.

      Originally posted by don_budge View Post
      He doubled on set point in the first set. All along I have been a huge critic of his service motion. It's convoluted...it makes very little sense. Inefficient looking...fails in the clutch.
      Originally posted by stroke View Post
      His serve does not evoke confidence. But he is never going to be as good as Novak, whose game he seems to most closely resemble. Now Thiem, that serve evokes just fine.
      Alexander Zverev had become a real enigma to himself. A riddle within a puzzle. But as the serve goes so does the rest of the game. If I am Ivan Lendl...and I'm not. I'm only don_budge. But if I were in charge of young Alexander I would start with he service motion. It a super interesting revelation to see what Nicolas Jarry has done with his service motion. In conjunction with Brian Gordon's theory of the "Probation Position". You don't get off probation until you master this. Jarry has now added a rather aesthetically pleasing backswing to his motion and yesterday he put it all together.

      But a double fault on set point is a bad omen. Among other things. There are a cloud of bad omens swirling over young Zverev these days. Doubts and mounting disappointment. I know the feeling. But you must tell yourself that there is at least one solution for any given problem. In reality there are many solutions. He must begin to see the possibilities and not just the down side. His motion is one convoluted mess compared to the potential that is waiting to be unlocked...unhinged. With that physique he should be dominating his own service game in order to put that much more pressure on his opponents. See how it works? As the serve goes...so goes the rest of the game.


      • #4
        Good point about Jarry. I saw Jarry has gone away from the "probation position" and now has a nice fluid motion. He is about the same size as Alex. That could be something for Alex to look at. It would be interesting to see the numbers on the new Jarry serve and see if in the resulting serve there is any difference. I like Downtowns serve also. A bit like Nick's. It happens very fast.


        • #5
          Felix fends off a match point against him and takes down Dustin in three tiebreak sets. Great talent.
          Regards, Phil


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